'Leave your Trump stuff at home': Fledgeling pro-Trump group calls for Nov. 6 rally in DC
Jordan Green

"Leave Your Trump Stuff Home" is the title of the YouTube video. It's a tough sell for a group seeking to mobilize supporters for a rally at the National Mall in Washington DC on Nov. 6 around false claims that the 2020 election was stolen and the COVID pandemic is a hoax.

In early January 2020, various groups calling themselves the Patriot Party emerged, including the United Patriot Party led by Greg Gibson of Tobaccoville, NC. They hoped to entice Donald Trump to break with the Republican Party and head a third-party ticket in 2024, but Trump put to rest such speculation during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in late February, calling it "fake news."

A sparsely attended rally hosted by United Patriot Party in Greensboro, NC on Oct. 16 leaned into themes of 2020 election grievance, COVID denialism and attacks on local school boards.

When Gibson announced that he was chartering a bus to take people to DC on Nov. 6, a heckler from the left-wing Working-class & Homeless Organizing Alliance yelled out a question about whether his group plans to attempt another insurrection.

"It was not an insurrection, sir," Gibson replied. Pausing briefly, he added, "Perhaps it should have been."

In the video promoting the DC event, which to date has garnered only 54 views, Gibson says he wants "to make sure we invite our representatives and our senators to come out and explain to us why they feel so comfortable running over top of the Constitution." He says, "We want to ask them why it is that we still have 60-plus people locked up from events on January 6th without trial."

Gibson's request that supporters leave their Trump gear at home has not gone over well with all of his supporters.

A woman showed up to the rally in Greensboro carrying an oversized Trump flag.

"It ain't time yet," she said, surveying the small crowd. "We got to get these mother***ers off their couches."

She turned to a couple reporters and asked: "How does it feel to be the enemy of the people?"

Dubbed "Operation Take Back America Rally for Freedom," the Greensboro event drew about 30 people, some of whom traveled more than three hours to attend. While the pro-Trump group assembled on the steps at Governmental Plaza, about 20 counter-protesters largely from Working-class Homeless Organizing Alliance, some dressed in tactical vests, verbally challenged them from a nearby stage.

The pro-Trump rally attracted people opposed to COVID restrictions, Three Percenters and neo-Confederates, including Thomas May, who joined the mob at the US Capitol on Jan. 6.

Katlynn Rose of Wake Forest arrived at the Greensboro rally carrying an American flag with the stars and stripes pattern rendered in different shades of black.

"No quarter, no surrender," she said. "I ain't playing no games."

David Neiwert, a journalist and author who has written extensively on right-wing extremism, recently wrote that the emergence of all-black American flags at right-wing protests is a "deeply ominous" development in the context of growing talk about "civil war." He wrote: "People flying them are essentially signaling that they are prepared to kill their liberal neighbors.

Rose said in a speech at the rally that she was carrying the flag in response to the COVID vaccine, which she called a "poisonous bioweapon."

"It is nothing but a death jab," she told the crowd. "It violates all 10 of the Nuremberg codes. Everything they have done is federally punished by law internationally in every country with death. We will seek justice for all those who lose their lives or are injured by this poisonous jab."

PolitiFact has reported that there is no evidence the COVID vaccine has caused any deaths. In contrast, the outlet reported: "COVID-19 has killed nearly 675,000 people in the US, and more than 4.5 million worldwide. The vaccines authorized in the US have been shown to significantly reduce the likelihood of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19."

Gibson told supporters the rally in Greensboro was not about debating "the safety, the efficacy" of the vaccine. But he continued: "At some point, we as Americans have to exercise radical liberty, where we step away from the protection of government oversight, and we start living as free people — people who are no longer susceptible to begging for permission. Have you ever noticed that if you want to go fishing, you've got to buy a license? If you want to go down the road, you've got to buy a license? If you want to do anything, you've got to buy a license? Listen, that's not freedom. That's not liberty."

The rally featured Dr. David Rasnick, an AIDS denialist who served on former South African President Thabo Mbeki's AIDS advisory council. During his 22-minute speech in Greensboro, Rasnick called AIDS "the so-called gay disease" and falsely claimed it was caused by amyl nitrite abuse. Rasnick said he is currently editing and proof-reading a new book by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is one of the most prominent traffickers in vaccine misinformation.

"We are literally in the midst of World War III," Rasnick said.

As counter-protesters chanted, "Rasnick, go home," the speaker claimed, against all credible evidence, that "about 500,000 Americans have been killed, minimum, with these [COVID vaccine] injections. More likely, over a million already."

Gibson urged supporters to show up at local school board meetings, encouraging a nationwide trend of increasingly volatile confrontations over masking mandates and baseless assertions that public schools are teaching critical race theory. In North Carolina, members of the Proud Boys, a group involved in the Jan. 6 insurrection, attended school board meetings in Orange County and Lincoln County over the past week. Gibson offered a new reason to harass school board members: an unsubstantiated claim that school officials are knowingly allowing adults to sexually abuse young children.

"If you live for radical liberty, then it is time to get involved and engaged with everyday politics," Gibson said. "Listen, have any of you, by any chance, happen to have seen these people going to school board meetings? Has anybody seen that? God bless you guys. If you've been there, God bless you.

"Do you know why they're going?" he continued. "It's because they have discovered that it is absolutely unconscionable that adults — priests, teachers, professors — are so desirous to talk to small children about sex. Listen, the book that is in the school is not the problem; the fact that there's pedophiles peddling it is the problem. We have got to stop these people from doing what they're doing."

Gibson said the United Patriot Party is looking for "non-establishment candidates" to back.

Among the speakers at the Greensboro rally was Peter Boykin, who received a minor burst of fame when he founded Gays for Trump during the 2016 campaign. Boykin emceed a 2017 March Against Sharia in Raleigh that featured speakers from the Oath Keepers and white supremacist group Identity Evropa. The following year, he expressed anti-trans views in a run for North Carolina state House in a heavily Democratic district in Greensboro, losing by a 56-point margin. Despite his disappointing performance, Boykin has announced a run for Congress in North Carolina in 2022.

"In Greensboro, we have no police to protect us or anything like that, but we can protect ourselves," Boykin said. "Because the government here is corrupt in Greensboro. It's a corrupt government. And that's why I'm running for Congress.

"I am a person of 'We the People'— and that means all the people," Boykin said gesturing towards the counter-protesters. "And I represent even antifa and even BLM. It's sad, but I do. Because I represent everybody. But they want to destroy America. They've been trying to destroy America, piece by piece. They've literally been trying to tear down our history and tear down everything and change our laws."

Gibson told Raw Story that he's heard from people in Texas, Arizona, Ohio and Missouri who are planning to attend the United Patriots Party rally in DC on Nov. 6. Gibson's ambitions for the national rally sprang, counterintuitively, out of challenges trying to organize in North Carolina.

"We had a little difficulty getting anywhere when we were trying to set up rallies in Hickory and Salisbury," he told Raw Story. "Someone mentioned DC. I said, 'F*** it, let's go.'"

Like the poorly attended "Justice for J6" rally in DC last month, the United Patriots Party rally is likely to run into skepticism and paranoia.

"If anybody's got any questions about, 'Oh, my God, this is a set up,' f*** off — it's not," Gibson said in the promotional video. "It's about bravery and courage of the patriots willing to stand up to a tyrannical government."

United Patriot Party rally in Greensboro www.youtube.com